McIlorum sufaces on radar of NRL club

Micky McIlorum has just finished a testimonial season with Wigan
Micky McIlorum has just finished a testimonial season with Wigan

Micky McIlorum has attracted strong interest from the NRL.

He is thought to be on Canberra’s wanted list for next year.

England Test hooker Josh Hodgson will miss a chunk of the Raiders’ 2018 campaign after suffering a knee injury during the World Cup.

And sources Down Under say coach Ricky Stuart has targeted McIlorum as a replacement following his starring performances for Ireland in the tournament.

Canberra’s interest, of course, does not mean he will depart.

He still has two years left on his Wigan deal, and the tough-tackling No.9 has never publicly expressed an interest in playing in the NRL.

McIlorum has spent his entire career with the Warriors, and brought an end to his testimonial year with a dinner at the DW Stadium last Friday.

He made a return to action this season after more than a year on the sidelines with a badly broken ankle.

By his own admission, the 29-year-old struggled to rekindle his menacing form - though his displays at the World Cup provided a reminder of his pedigree.

If he did depart, it would free up some space under the salary cap for the Warriors to strengthen their squad for 2018.

But they appear well covered for hooker options. Shaun Wane has already admitted he may move one of his full-backs, Sam Tomkins or Morgan Escare, at halfback – a switch which would allow Thomas Leuluai to play at dummy-half. And Sam Powell has proved his value in recent seasons.